If you're into hacking your brain, or at least, changing the way you think in order to better yourself, you might want to check out Psychology Today's guide to the Top Ten Psychology Studies of 2010.
These instruction manuals -- so to speak -- cover everyday aspects from being happier, better managing one's time, having more willpower and, interestingly enough, a completely different view on how to break habits:
If you are trying to stop smoking, swearing, or chewing your nails, you have probably tried the strategy of distracting yourself -- taking your mind off whatever it is you are trying not to do -- to break the habit. You may also have realized by now that it doesn't work. Distraction is a great way to resist a passing temptation, but it turns out to be a terrible way to break a habit that has really taken hold.
That's because habit-behaviors happen automatically - often, without our awareness. So thinking about George Clooney isn't going to stop me from biting my nails if I don't realize I'm doing it in the first place.
What you need to do instead is focus on stopping the behavior before it starts (or, as psychologists tend to put it, you need to "inhibit" your bad behavior). According to research by Jeffrey Quinn and his colleagues, the most effective strategy for breaking a bad habit is vigilant monitoring - focusing your attention on the unwanted behavior to make sure you don't engage in it. In other words, thinking to yourself "Don't do it!" and watching out for slipups - the very opposite of distraction. If you stick with it, the use of this strategy can inhibit the behavior completely over time, and you can be free of your bad habit for good.
There is a catch to reading these studies: unless you have access to journals via your job or faculty, you'll have to settle for Psychology Today's synopsis and the abstract on the journals' site.
|"Scientists are predicting that we're on track for a sixth mass extinction."|
|"We form a sense of whether a stranger is trustworthy in less than one tenth of a second."|
|"Researchers used the thoughts of one human's brain to control the physical actions of another."|
|"Gravity may simply not exist."|
|We Almost All Died on Tuesday|
|3D Printed $10,000 House|
|“New green policies so hard-hitting and extensive they can be felt across the world.”|
|“Facebook played a 'determining role' in stirring up hatred against Rohingya Muslims.”|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Amazon Paid No Federal Taxes In 2017.”|
|“Contains all the same components as cow’s milk, [...] but doesn’t use any animals in its production process.”|
|“Traditional path to economic growth may close to all but a handful of developing countries.”|
|“Clearly, no one is going to build weapons that have sufficient general intelligence to, for example, decide and execute a plan to take over the world.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Engineers designed it to stop animals from eating farmers’ crops.”|